As I waited in pain for him to be born, now I wait in pain for him to die. I cannot take my eyes off him, for every second that passes takes him farther from me. Where is my bright angel now? I would be the God-Bearer, the angel said. Well, I did my part. And now here he is, this Child of God, dying in a dismal dusty place ...
... I hear a scream and wonder who it is. The sky darkens, thunder rumbles, and a great silence falls. My body feels numb. It seems as if the darkness lasts forever. After a time, however, light returns. Shaken, the soldiers begin taking my child down from the cross. One of them, a centurion I think, motions to them to give me the body.
I sink down on a rock, and with a curious gentleness, the soldiers hand him to me, draping him across my lap. I cradle him, my babe now man. His head lolls against my breast, and his soft hair strokes my chin. I gently close his eyes and with my veil wipe the blood off his face.
I have no tears left. My eyes are spent with weeping, my soul is in tumult, my heart is poured out in grief because of the downfall of my people.
John says something to me, and I look up, my eyes blazing.
"Do not call me Naomi, which means Pleasant. Call me Mara, which means Bitter; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me."
John looks shocked, but what do I care? What are all the prophecies to me now? What do I care for all the fine words of men? My child is dead! Agony forces my head back and I scream at the heavens, "My baby! I want my baby back!"
... I press my broken son to me, as if I can absorb him once again into my body. Oh Beloved! Have mercy on me! Pour Your tender mercies down upon me and help me! Help me! I have no strength left.
And once again, You send my bright angel. I feel the warmth at my back, the angel's hand upon my bent head, and hear the familiar voice: "Mary, Blessed of all Women, do not be afraid, for God is pleased with you."
And I remember the Promise: "All will be well. All manner of things will be well."